Criminal Charges in Baltimore
The following is information on criminal charges in Baltimore including the most common offenses that take place and where your case will likely be heard if you are accused of a crime. To learn more about criminal charges in Baltimore or to seek legal counsel, call today and set up a consultation with a Baltimore criminal lawyer.
What Are Some of The Most Common Criminal Offenses in Baltimore?
The most common criminal offenses in Baltimore are assault cases and disorderly conduct cases simply because you have a lot of schools here, such as Towson University and a lot of community colleges. Not to single out college aged kids, but people in that age group will sometimes go out, have a few drinks, and maybe get too loud or disorderly which can lead to charges like assault and disorderly conduct. For this reason, you tend to see a lot of assault cases in both the first and second degree.
One type of case that is starting to become a lot more common now is drug cases, which are definitely on the rise in Baltimore. As with some other places around the country, heroin is a problem here and has become a bigger problem ever since marijuana laws were changed back in October of 2014. Marijuana possession of 10 g or less for anyone over 21 years of age is now just a civil citation and the state or county is really not concerned about that small of an amount anymore.
Heroin, on the other hand, is a big issue and in Baltimore we still get some cocaine and LSD cases from time to time. So drugs are definitely becoming a more frequent occurrence than they were just one or two years ago.
Where is An Individual’s Criminal Case Most Likely to be Heard if They Are Being Charged in Baltimore?
If charged with a criminal offense in Baltimore you will initially appear in District Court. Even if it is a felony charge, you will still be brought before a commissioner in one of the District Courts. In court, they can either release you on your own recognizance or you have to bond to bail out.
If bail is set you will likely want to contact a bondsmen and then get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible into your case. There are public defenders as well as bond attorneys who can appear on your behalf just for that bond hearing to try and make your bond a little less expensive. This becomes hard if you have a prior criminal record, but depending on the crime itself you may or may not need a bond at all.
Following the District Court trial date, you may have to go to Circuit Court depending on the case and the cases outcome in District Court.
Where Will An Individual be Taken if They Are Arrested in Baltimore?
Generally speaking you will be brought in front of a commissioner so they can decide what they are going to do to you. If they decide to let you go they will likely issue you paperwork with a court date. If they decide not to let you go, you will be taken to Towson lockup which will be the local jail.
Do Local Baltimore Laws Or Ordinances Ever Come Into Play During Criminal Cases?
In most of those cases when they are jail-able there has to be probable cause for the stop to be made and the local ordinance can be something more than the MR Code. So most transportation violations are going to be transportation articles, TA articles and also incorporated in the MR, Maryland Regulations which are local laws.
They are very much in play for probable cause and most of those MR codes, most of those local laws are minor traffic charges meaning that they are fine-able. So if you hire an attorney for a minor traffic case you may not have to appear in court as the defendant. Your attorney can retain your right to waive your appearance. But if it is a must appear or jail-able offense then you must appear in court with your attorney and your attorney will advise you.